The center position is solid with two

When the BYU offensive depth chart came out, the center position listed two names: Blair Tushaus and Houston Reynolds. Total Blue Sports caught up with Reynolds for more clarification on the center position. Well, sort of.

Junior Houston Reynolds (6 feet 2 inches, 305 pounds) and sophomore Blair Tushaus (6 feet 2 inches, 270 pound) battled over fall camp for the starting center position. So, where have they fallen?

"That's a question that going to have to be [answered] by my position coach," said Reynolds with a laugh in his voice. "I don't really know what's going on. Here in the next day or so he's going to narrow it down and give us the scoop on what's exactly going on."

It appears that both Tushaus and Reynolds will see playing time this year, starting with the season opener on Thursday. So if the center is rotated from time to time, how does that affect quarterback Riley Nelson?

"They both have different-shaped backsides, so that's something different," said Nelson jokingly. "The contour is different for my hand, but once that adjustment is made I trust them. Houston is a little more sweaty than Blair, which is unfortunate for me. No, I trust both those guys and, you know, like I've said, whoever has the hot hand I hope would be fed on Thursday."

Reynolds might not be sure if he'll be the center to trot out onto the field first, but he feels ready regardless.

"I've gotten myself ready and prepared myself to play multiple position," Reynolds said. "We're going to have to see where all the cards settle. I will say this, that position deserves a lot of credit. I feel like it's a very, very difficult position to play and progress. Blair has done a great job with it. I feel like it's a very, very difficult position to play and there is a lot of pressure and a lot of stress.

"There's a lot of choreography and organizing on top of playing center and trying to block the guy in front of you. The center position is a difficult position to play here, but I feel that if I'm asked to step in and play the center position I can come in and get done what needs to be done. I'm confident that I can get people to play hard, get the guys on the right page and I'm very confident in that position. I feel like I would be ready to go, but I feel that Blair is ready to go."

Despite the difficulties that come with the center position, Nelson isn't worried about it in the least bit.

"As far as the exchange goes and then as far as the call goes, I'll leave that up to Coach Weber," said Nelson. "I gotta worry more about the blitzes and coverages they're playing behind it than the targeting up front."

Reynolds played guard last year and could play guard again this year.

"It's more difficult than I originally thought to bounce around and play different positions," said Reynolds. "You have to be dialed in and focused. I'm kind of a base mentality that you specialize, and so if there is somebody who is a great left guard, give him all the reps at left guard and make him the best left guard he can be. The more you bounce around, the less effective he becomes at all positions.

"That's kind of my base philosophy, but I think here we do a good job here. Last year I played left guard and started a bunch of games. The year before that I was backing up Terence [Brown] at center, and [on Monday] I got a bunch of reps at right guard, so I've bounced around and have become more used to playing different positions and I'm more comfortable now doing so. It's not much of an issue for me to move from one position to another and I feel comfortable if called upon to play a different position."

Reynolds contends that the center position is more stable and deep than it has been in years past.

"I do feel like that no matter what happens and how everything unfolds and who plays, that the center position is solidified," Reynolds said. "I feel like no matter who comes in or rotates, that the center position is going to be just fine. I feel like it's something that Coach Weber can just whip the sweat off his brow and say, ‘Man, I'm glad that position is shored up and I don't have to worry about what will happen if someone goes down.' No matter who goes in, the center position is going to be executed very well and that person will do a great job. It's a position I'm confident and excited about how we run it here at BYU. Whether it's me or Blair, together we do a great job, but we'll know more on how it's going to play out later."

Nelson agrees with Reynolds' assessment.

"No, we haven't had any problems," Nelson said. "In all of fall camp, and I'm trying to remember, we haven't had any problems with mishandled snaps [except one] and that was my fault. It was a blitz and they were coming and I pulled out too early with the center exchange. I have full confidence with both of those guys, and we didn't have one missed shotgun snap all of fall camp."

So while Coach Weber combs through the remaining fine details in regards to the offensive line, there doesn't seem to be any worries concerning the center position. Just don't be surprised to see different jersey numbers out there snapping the ball from time to time.


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